Should Xbox Live Be Free?

Spend any amount of time on Xbox LIVE and you’ll come across a friend or foe who’ll verbally comment or have the profile motto that Xbox Live should be free.

Should it?

I mean we pay enough don’t we, for our consoles, replacement consoles, games and accessories, plus the fact that we’re already paying our ISP’s for line rental and broadband every month. Don’t we as loyal customers deserve to have online gaming as part of the package? Granted it is the most convenient and efficient was we have of gaming online. With the social features such as friends lists the ease of partying up, game comparisons to spy on, easy to find organised Arcade Games and DLC I wonder if I could be content not being connected, and after all it is only a fiver a month which isn’t a lot in this day and age.

I wonder if LIVE was free would it be joined by even more annoying types who just don’t care what its all about. Team Killers, quitters and a hell of a lot more kids is my guess. People who aren’t interested in the actual game and are just out to wind others up. Maybe the charge puts them off, why pay extra for something that doesn’t totally engage you when after all there’s always the internet to troll at no extra cost.

So I’m not complaining, just pondering. Mr Gates does need to keep those numbers ticking upwards in his Mega Uber Platinum Diamond account cause he’s probably got a hell of a-lot of bills to pay what with all his mansions and super cars and there are still plenty of islands that need buying.







10 responses to “Should Xbox Live Be Free?”

  1. Dave avatar

    I know we’ve all been thinking it but I’m glad you’ve come out and said it. I wholeheartedly agree that Xbox Live should be free. There’s no excuse whatsoever to charge us for what PS3 and Wii users get for nothing.

    I dunno if you saw it but Games Radar did a pretty good piece on weighing up the perks of each console’s online service and compared them to Xbox Live. For our £40 a month we’re getting little in the way of exclusive content :/

  2. Simes avatar

    PS3 and Wii owners don’t get for nothing what we get for Live. For one thing, Microsoft hosts all the matchmaking servers for Live games, whereas with PS3 games the servers must be hosted by the publisher of the games in question. It’s one of the reasons why PS3 online feels so disjointed by comparison, and also one of the reasons why there are still matchmaking servers running for old XBox games even now. I can only assume Games Radar didn’t pay much attention to what the Gold sub actually gives you, because it’s got nothing to do with “exclusive content” at all.

    £40 a month for Live? You need to shop elsewhere for your game time cards.

    I don’t think Live should automatically be free. I don’t think that games should be more expensive in order to keep the service running, because that’s unfair on people who don’t use the service. And those servers must be paid for, one way or another, or they’ll be shut down. So please, no more of this “we’ve all been thinking it” stuff. I’m sure you were thinking it, but don’t presume to speak for everyone else.

    I’m sure the PSN will get better as time goes on, and it may be that MS will need to rethink the cost of Live subscriptions in due course. I don’t think the cost of Live is excessive for what it gives you, though. Just like I don’t object to paying for broadband, rather than thinking it should have come free with my computer.

  3. Dave avatar

    £40 a year rather, now that would have been a bit too much :S

    Yeah apologies for the ‘we’ve all been thinking it’ remark, I didn’t realise how that read back until after you mentioned it, delete that if you like dude.

    I’ve heard a lot of bad chat about the way the PS3 server issue is handled. But I feel Xbox Live has been extremely shaky as of late, often my dashboard wont load up properly as a result and I have to play offline.

    Whether this is a local connection issue or something similar to the server strains over Christmas I’m not sure, but it’s causing a few headaches.

  4. Simes avatar

    No problem. It just gets my back up a bit when I see that, so I tend to get a bit snappy. It’s all good. 🙂

    I’m not saying Live doesn’t have its problems, because it certainly does, and the way they handled the problems at christmas was appalling (hey everyone! have a free copy of the XBLA game nobody wants!) but it still seems more cohesive to me and, overall, worth the money.

    The new PS3 update notes say that cross-game invites are not going to be a universal feature but will require developers to build the functionality in. I don’t know how much of that is down to not having a centralised system like Live but I’m sure it’s related. Centralising just allows you to do more, or at least to do certain things much more easily, and (of course) getting money for the system does too.

  5. Emily avatar

    The point about more children on Live is something I hadn’t considered about a free service. Don’t you need a credit card to pay for the service currently? I’m sure that in itself filters out a lot of kids who can’t pester their parents into it.

  6. Simes avatar

    You can buy time cards for Live as well, from GAME and Amazon and other games retailers. So while it is a barrier it’s not total.

  7. Dave avatar

    No bother Simes, I have my ‘buttons’ too lets just say 🙂

    Ah yes, good old Undertow, wasn’t too impressed with that I have to say. I actually thought my 360 had knackered itself when it wouldn’t connect and the red ring of death was on it’s way – terrifying!

  8. Michael avatar

    I’ve never met anyone (who’s not from here) that uses the phrase “no bother”! I thought it was just a Norn Ironism…

    £40 a year is pretty cheap – about, oh, 3 quid a month. And I hadn’t even thought about it being a barrier to all and sundry, such as those types you mentioned Laura.

    Bill Gates has just stepped down from running MS to focus on charity stuff apparently.

  9. Laura avatar

    Charity stuff eh? Cool! I wonder if he’ll set up a Gamers Anonymous 😀

  10. Dave avatar

    Cool! Maybe he can help ease my crippling CoD4 online addiction?

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